Dole wants more healthcare workers hired in Japan

THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) is looking at further improving the capabilities of Filipinos to get hired in Japan, despite already sending eight batches of nurses and caregivers under the Philippine-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).

“I believe we have to align our training and education standards with countries that employ our workers to ensure their readiness to be employed, not only in Japan, but anywhere else,” Dole secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said in a statement.

She said she has already proposed to Japanese officials for the sending of a mission to the Philippines to fully understand the training and education standards as well as the curriculum of nursing and care giving courses.

“They can assess what other requirements of these occupations in Japan could be incorporated, upgraded, or improved so that takers of these courses could easily qualify when they apply for such occupations in Japan,” Baldoz said.

In the eighth batch of health care workers deployed to Japan this year, a total of 63 nurses and 277 caregivers have been sent by the Philippines.

The 340 Filipino health care workers is the biggest batch of candidate caregivers and nurses sent by the country under the JPEPA since its inception in 2009.

Aside from Japan, Baldoz said they are also looking at having more countries interested in hiring Filipino healthcare workers.

The labor chief said the recent declaration of the World Health Organization (WHO) that about 40 million new healthcare jobs will be opening in the coming years is an opportunity for the country to be in a position to be declared as the health care worker capital of the world.

“If they decide to source their healthcare workers from the Philippines, there is no reason why we could not position our country as the health care worker capital of the world, similar to our hard-earned reputation as the global maritime manning capital,” Baldoz added.

She said being efficient health care workers is already innate to Filipinos, which gives the latter a major advantage.

“Our healthcare workers’ caring and nurturing heart and their meticulous hygiene and sanitation are factors that put them in a competitive advantage,” she said.

The labor chief said such natural asset should be coupled with the necessary investment in the human resources development (HRD) in healthcare.

“Investing in HRD involving the education and training of healthcare workers using global standards will answer the need for quantity, quality, and sustainability of supply of healthcare workers and also address the required huge investments for universal health coverage. It will definitely lead to the right kind of workers with the right kind of skills in the right workplaces,” she said.

Baldoz said the high demand for healthcare workers and the ability of the Philippines to respond can already be seen in Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom. (HDT/Sunnex)

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